Paula Cardona: “Investing in girls and women is excellent business”

“We are leaving millions of dollars on the table if this is not understood,” Philip Morris International’s regional communications director for Latin America and Canada warned at the Forbes Argentina Women’s Power Summit.

06 September 2022 21.14

The Regional Director of Communications Philip Morris International for Latin America and Canada, Paula Cardonamaintained at the sixth edition of the Forbes Women Power Summit that as women we reinvest 90% of our wages into families, driving economic reactivation, especially in small communities.

The CEO participated virtually in a face-to-face interview during the meeting, in which she mentioned the paradox present in Latin America regarding the digital divide. Investing in girls and women is excellent business. “We’re leaving millions of dollars on the table if this isn’t figured out,” he said.

At the meeting held at the Four Seasons Hotel in CABA, Cardona specified that the region has 65 million women without access to the Internet who are therefore completely excluded from the digital world, from business, work opportunities and education, something that has been exacerbated by the pandemic and has also spread to their children.

This non-arrival leads to economic consequences not only for women but for society as a whole. No device access either access to technology already internet. And the key is how much it costs a bottom-of-the-pyramid woman to get a tethering device, she noted.

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But the digital divide has another, more complex dimension that cannot be resolved by handing out smartphones. There are women with access to a regular telephone but do not know how to use this technology. It’s a vicious cycle and that’s why there are programs you work on alliances of public and private entities, governments, international investors and multilateral organizations to help more girls and women get the support they need. But more are needed, he warned.

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Men’s and women’s technology consumption is different. They are told from a young age that they must have a phone. To the women who bought for what.

For this reason, Cardona recommended having products designed from the user experience with women in mind. This has not yet been done in Latin America. We are adapting ourselves, but the idea is for technology to adapt to women’s needs.

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We have progress compared to other regions, but the pandemic (due to Covid-19) This impacted a lot and highlighted the digital divide. The ECLAC (referring to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) estimates that 160 million students were sent home during the lockdown. This mass of students could not move in virtuality immediately. In many cases there was only one device in the house that usually belonged to the father of the family to share with the mother and children. And among rural women, this disparity is even more pronounced, he noted.

Regarding the labor market, the executive said that women represent 50.9% of the labor force in Latin America and asked: How would the region develop if we had the same opportunities as men?

And in this case there is a second dimension. Of this female workforce, 41% work in the informal market where work It is worse paid and more unstable than in the formal segment.

For this reason, the commitment of Philips Morris International in pursuing its technological transformation, but also in changing its business process, resonates particularly. Our company is balanced in terms of variety. We now have 37% women in the workforce, with 42% of them in leadership positionsrevealed.

Cardona finally emphasized the value of the people who transform the industry, because it’s not just about getting women into these positions, but how they go after them. But Philip Morris is certified as one of the first multinational companies with equal pay.

We are the women transformers, although in addition to taking a position, we must have a voice and a voice to influence decision-making. There is no point in a woman sitting in a stall. He should have space to contribute his ideas, intelligence and academic and work capacity, he concluded.

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